Volume 23 Number 21
                       Produced: Thu Feb 15 23:08:31 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Danny Skaist]
Kollel (2)
         [Harry Maryles, Tova Taragin]
Kollel - and the army
         [Roger Kingsley]
Kollel and Learning
         [Steve White]
Kollel issue
         [Yitz Weiss]
Rav Soloveitchik and Women's Services
         [Aryeh Frimer]


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 96 10:12 IST
Subject: Bugs

>--Robert Book
>I am thinking of going back to making my own salad, since I have never
>found a bug in head lettuce.....

But can you be sure that by the time the lettuce you have examined is
served that no flying bug has landed in it.

That is why the Sar Hamashke got reinstated.



From: <Harrymaryl@...> (Harry Maryles)
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 14:55:19 -0500
Subject: Kollel

>have found is that many Roshei
>Yeshiva (if not most) will actually take the Kollel men aside after they
>have been in the Kollel for some period of time (possibly five years in
>keeping with the chinuch of the Leviim - see the beginning of Parshas
>Naso, possibly after two or three children) and suggest to those who
>have no realistic chance of being one of the Gdolei HaDor that they
>might be better served by spending morning and/or afternoon seder in
>pursuit of making a living.  This approach has several advantages - it
>frees up funding for those who do have the potential to become Gdolim,
>it gives the Yeshiva working alumni who are a source for financial
>support, it gives the community charedi baale batim (who may be
>businessmen, doctors, lawyers, accountants, computer professionals

I believe that Carl Sherer's description of Roshei Yeshiva guiding their
students into the proffessions etc. is an ideal that has not yet been
achieved.  There are still far too many students in Yeshiva bais
hamedrash and kollelim to justify Carl's claim .  I do agree with the
sentiment, However, that students who have the potential to become
gedolim be encouraged, both morally and financially to pursue that goal.
Furthermore, I also, believe all yeshiva students no matter what their
potential be encouraged to continue their learning between 2 and 5 years
beyond highschool, with at least one of those years in Israel if
possible.  The problem as I see it,is that many of these students have
been endoctrinated to believe that it is their religious obligation to
continue their learnig for as long as possible no matter what the
quality of their learning is.  the results of that type of thinking is
thaat many stay too long and do not get the proper education or training
to be able to contribute to klal Israel and very often have to rely on
crash courses or "connections" to get jobs!  The status quo alows for
many students to either waste their time in the bais hamedrash (batalah)
or learn at inferior level.  Wouldn't it be far more productive of our
society if the roshei yeshiva and roshei kollel take a more pro-active
role in encouraging the students who are not of "gadol" calibre to
pursue a field of endeavor more productive, something more suited to
their own individual talents and abilities?  Let these students learn 2
to 5 years and be encouraged to follow a different goal (other than
Gadol Hador) Perhaps Medicine or Law where their efforts can be more
contributing to the welfare of Klal Israel.  Perhaps these students can
take a few courses of college in pursuit of their goal during their 2 to
5 years in a beis hamedrash program.  Although I still Believe that at
least 1 or 2 years of uninterupted learning w/o any secular studies
before doing so would be an ideal.(perhaps in Israel)


From: <Tovt@...> (Tova Taragin)
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 07:58:15 -0500
Subject: Kollel

I firmly agree with Carl about "going out into the world", for the
majority who are not going to be gedolei hador, but unfortunatley, after
4-5 years in kollel and 2-3 children it's very difficult to start
thinking about getting the degrees needed to be "charedi baale batim
(who may be businessmen, doctors, lawyers, accountants, computer
professionals etc.)." -- while they are in yeshiva/kollel they are
discouraged from going to college, unless they go to certain yeshivos
which tolerate it (like Ner Israel) and then they are in their late 20's
- early 30's and unless they have a father/father-in-law's business to
go into, they are stuck with no adequate parnasa for their family, and
for sure not they are not going to be "Yeshiva working alumni who are a
source for financial support," for the community etc...I really don't
have any solutions to offer except maybe, "aizehu chacham haroeh et
hanolad"...maybe the young people today, should be forced to think past
the first 5 years and think about the "what ifs"...


From: Roger Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 96 21:57:22 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Kollel - and the army

     I am rather tired of hearing this argument (repeated in V23#14,
among others) that the learning "service" of the Haredi Yeshivot and
Kollelim is _as_ important to the State as army service and justifies
their exemption.  The case for this suffers from (at least) three
serious defects, which I give here in decreasing order of weakness.
 1.  Self-selection.  If, as is given by the poster, an equal part is
played by those who fight and those who learn, who gives these bochurim
the right to choose that _they_ will learn and others will fight?
 2.  Frame of reference.  The Haredi world gives an argument which, it
seems, is good enough to persuade themselves that they are right.  But
it is clearly incapable, and makes no attempt to, persuade the fighters
of its validity.  As such, the argument is fundamentally lacking any
chance to play a part in establishing a "social contract".  And before
anyone claims that the Torah world has no need to take into account
other frames of reference, let me point out that the criteria for
Kiddush HaShem and Hillul HaShem are firmly rooted in just that - a
respect for the public frame of reference, and the viewpoint of others.
 3.  Credibility.  The practitioners _themselves_ do not even show
belief in it.  We all saw how, two elections ago, the Haredi Yeshivas
were shut down for a month, and the students were sent out canvassing
for the party which would support their Yeshiva.  If they really
believed in this doctrine, they would have sat tight and just learned
with a kavvana to get a good election result.
     Frankly, it does no great credit to the level of learning attained
in these places to suppose that they cannot even differentiate between a
lechatchila (ab initio) reason, and a bediavad (post facto) excuse.
     When I compare the attitude of these people to the boys and men of
the Hesder Yeshivot, who plant the Kedusha (holiness) of the living
Torah - the Torah of life - in the heart of the army itself, who
individually embody the whole of the doctrine of "some fighting and some
learning" recommended by the poster, I wonder that this argument has the
face to raise its head yet again.

Roger Kingsley


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 11:10:05 -0500
Subject: Kollel and Learning

>From #17:

Carl Sherer:
>  This leads to a couple of almost contradictory matters:
>-- on the one hand, it appears that there IS a need to encourage
>learning if we are to have future leaders.  On the other hand, who wants
>to be supporting the 999 who will 'wash out'?"

Well, that's just it.  And I have no argument with Carl's analysis that
follows.  But what used to happen in the old country, anyway?  I suspect
that with more established communities, community and cheder rabbonim
would have a better idea of who was a gadol-candidate from a much
earlier age (teens?).
 Then those rabbonim only needed to admit 99 washouts to get a gadol,
not 999.  I don't know whether such earlier tracking is feasible or
desirable in the year 5756, but I'd be curious what people think of

As to whether one is then denying the other 900 (and the community at
large) their learning, I admit this is an extremely difficult question.
But I'm inclined to say that as indispensable as Torah learning is to
the community, the needs of those 900 must be weighed against other
legitimate community needs, such as (for example only) making sure the
cost of Jewish education for our _children_ remains affordable for the

Zvi Weiss:
>3. Elef LaMateh implies that BOTH sides were of EQUAL importance.  This
>relates to the issue of "looking down" at the "modern Orthodox" by the
>Kollel crowd.  If we are ALL important, then we ALL deserve MUTUAL


Steve White


From: <YitzW@...> (Yitz Weiss)
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 13:04:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Kollel issue

 I spent a year learning in kollel in Israel after getting married and
it was a wonderful experience. It was a way of beginning a life together
with my wife based on Torah values and focusing us on Torah goals. I
wholeheartedly agree that kollelim are a good thing...provided that they
are not being abused.
 Incumbent on every Jewish husband is the responsibility to support his
wife and children. It is part of the kesubah we sign and give to our
wives at the wedding. It should not be the responsibility of the klal to
fill-in for those who choose to neglect their duties on a permanent
 Mind you, I believe that kollel can be a wonderful part of a couple's
experience provided that it's limited in duration. IMHO, kollel is not a
profession. An individual who wishes to spend his life being paid to
learn has many opportunities to do so while providing a service to
others - i.e.  becoming a rebbe, a melamed, etc.
 Many people learn in kollel and when their financial needs change, move
on to a profession so as to support their families properly. I applaud
them. Many work on a part time basis and learn on a part time basis for
the same reason.  I applaud them as well. However, there are some who
feel that it's the world's responsibility to support them and will not
put in the proper "hishtadlus" (effort) to fend for themselves. They
would sooner avail themselves of government programs, welfare, etc. to
supplement their kollel stipends so as not to "waste" time working.
 I feel that there is no excuse for people who could be working, to be
taking money in government support. If individuals make a commitment to
themselves to further their Torah goals by learning rather than working,
they must be willing to make the financial sacrafices involved - not to
place the burden of their support on the American public. I believe
those who do so are opening the entire kollel system up to a tremendous
amount of criticism and chillul Hashem.
 As a businessman who is contstantly looking for part-time (evening)
people to work with, it frustrates me to no end when I offer a
opportunity to a kollelnik (who's kids are undernourished, who's on
government support, who's wife is out working) who tells me "I can't do
that - it would conflict with my night seder."
 If people spend their lives simply collecting rather than earning -
they never understand the value of money. The concept of providing a
service and being compensated based on service provided is learned - not
something inherent in human nature.
 Perhaps there is a way that people learning beyond a certain amout of
time (2 yrs? 3 yrs?) would be compensated in kollel based on certain
achievements rather than simply "putting in the time." Maybe the
structure of their stipend should be such that in order to earn they
would need to fulfill specific requirements. The more requirements
fulfilled, the larger the stipend. No requirements fulfilled? Then no
 On a job, people are paid only if they show up, and even then - only if
they're productive. Who determines who's productive in kollel & who
marks them absent when they don't show?
 I give financial support to kollelim - however, perhaps by increasing
the responsibility to perform of those being supported, we can separate
the not-so-serious ones, from the one who are there for the right


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235%<BARILAN.bitnet@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 96 11:21 O
Subject: Rav Soloveitchik and Women's Services

    As you may know, my brother Dov and I have been working several
years on an in-depth Halakhic analysis of Women's tefillah groups,
hakafot, and megillah readings. We are in the midst of writing up a
section on the approach of Rav Yosef Dov ha-Levi Soloveitchik
Zatsa"l. We have interviewed most (though not yet all) of the prominent
figures who are known to have spoken to the Rov Zatsa"l. We are sure,
however, that there are people who spoke to the Rov directly regarding
these issues (tefillah, hakafot, megillah etc.) or heard the Rov express
his opinion on these issues. We would greatly appreciate their input on
this matter in order to present as authentic a picture as possible.
   In addition, we would like to elucidate the facts around two women's
services which took place around 1971 or 1972 in the Boston Area. One
was a service that occurred at a Maimonides School Shabbaton which took
place after consultation with the Rov. Did it actually take place? What
did the women do? Did it occur more than once?
   The second occurred at Brandeis around the same time. We'd appreciate
hearing from anyone who took part, or who know's who spoke to the Rov
about it.
    PLEASE contact me at :
        E-mail: f66235%<barilan.bitnet@...>
        Home Phone: 972-8-9473819/9470834
        Work phone: 972-3-5318610
        Fax no.: 972-3-5351250 (write at top "for Prof. Aryeh Frimer")

We guarantee that noone will be quoted without their permission or
without seeing in advance exactly what we will be submitting for
publication in this regard.
        Thanks in advance and Tizku le-mitsvot
            (Rabbi Professor) Aryeh Frimer


End of Volume 23 Issue 21